Kylie Perez, a transgender teen and student at East Side High School in Newark, New Jersey, was viciously beaten by four fellow students earlier this week.
“And the girl was like, ‘Oh, there’s the tranny!’ Two punches, like right here, and I fell. And when I feel, I felt like everybody was coming towards me. Everybody,” said Perez.
“When I received the call, I just started crying, I just panicked,” said her mother, Lillian Richards.
Perez and Richards say bullies have made school life unbearable for the last several years.
Perez tells PIX 11, “They would call me gay, and faggot…so that’s what they usually say.”
Especially since her transition in 6th grade.
Perez and her mother reported the attack to the school, and the Newark police department, which has officially classified the attack as a bias incident, and notified the Essex County Prosecutor’s office.
However, since the attack happened on Tuesday, Newark school officials have yet to hold any anti-bullying program or intervention initiatives at East Side High School, to address what happened in that hallway to the transgender teen.
“When my daughter goes to school, I expect her to be safe in school,” Richards said.
An 18-year-old student named Abel Cedeno is in jail without bail and under suicide watch after a school stabbing. Cedeno fatally stabbed 15-year-old Matthew McCree and slashed 16-year-old Ariane Laboy. (Laboy survived.) Both of the younger teens were fellow students in Cedeno’s history class at their high school in the Bronx of New York City. According to Cedeno’s friends, the two younger students tormented him with homophobic taunts, racist slurs and physical violence until Cedeno retaliated.
Savannah Hornbeck, a friend of Cedeno, told New York Daily News, “The kids were calling him a faggot, calling him a spic. After it had been reported numerous times and there was no reaction from the school, Abel felt (there was) no other way out.”
Perez says she hopes schools will work harder to address intolerance in school classrooms, and hallways, before it’s too late.
“You can’t really change anybody, how they feel, whether they’re gay, lesbian, transgender, or anything…that’s *their* decision,” said Perez.